2013
09.20

Ikea Jar Lamp hack

jar_intro

Here’s a hack from the past.
I initiated this jar-lamp more than 3 years ago but got distracted by other projects and abandoned it.

Basically, I’m taking an ikea glass jar, stuffing it with some electronics, and turning it into a bed-side lamp.

We’re going to need:

  • Ikea Glass Jar 1.50€
  • Flip Switch 0.40€
  • 3800mAh Battery for Nintendo Wii Balance Board 4€
  • Female & male Power plugs 0.80€
  • Retractable USB nokia cable 1.1€
  • AC to DC 5V USB charger 1.1€
  • 25x White LEDs 0.8€

The first step is to frost the glass. This way the light will spread evenly without blinding spots and will keep all the unsightly electronics out of sight.
This was the hardest part. I read somewhere that you can get frosting spray, but couldn’t find it anywhere, so I started grinding the inside of the jar with my dremel and a grinding bit. It took a lot of hours, and wasted 3 stone bits.
The results however were very satisfying.

Sory, no pics of the process, but it’s fairly straight-forward: scratch the inside enough so that you can’t see through.

The next step is to build our lighting source. a small panel of LEDs.

*At the time of the build LED strips were not so common and a bit expensive. If I started today I would have just installed a rolled-up 1 meter SMD LED strip and get it over with. They sell cheaply on ebay.

So I began constructing my LED panel. I used a plastic cup as a platform to hold them together, and paper clips to connect them.

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Everything is held in place with hot glue and solder.

Next on the to-do-list is a way to power everything up.
I choose to make it wireless for a cleaner look.
I ordered a re-chargeable battery off ebay originally made for the nintendo wii balance board. The reason was that it was super cheap, and it already included the over-charge protection chip. It just needs 5v to power it and you’re set.

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I had to break-it apart to get to the connections and wire it up properly

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Threw-away the casing, and kept the charging chip, and the battery. I then soldered a female socket on the voltage input, and the LEDs on the output.

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I then drilled 2 holes on the bottom of the jar and mounted a flip on-off switch and the charging socket. *Note: In order to drill glass you need a diamond bit.

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Here’s how things look on the inside:

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The final touch was to create a USB to jar socket cable. I chose a retractable USB cable for more efficient storage.

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All Set! Now the little lamp lights-up happily with no cords. Once I need to re-charge it I plug it in a USB socket for a couple of hours and it’s ready to go. The battery lasts for ages.

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Total  cost 9,7€ (£8.5)

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  1. καλο.